Dopey Census Takers Out of Step

by alec on May 9, 2006

I got a note in email this morning from egale Canada, the organization that promotes equal rights for Gay and Lesbian Canadians.  It read, in part:

Egale is writing to you because the upcoming Census 2006 treats same-sex couples unfairly. We’re hoping you will take a simple action to show your support for same-sex couples across Canada.

The census form instructs same-sex couples who are married to check the ‘Other’ category at the bottom of the list of relationships, rather than checking the top box marked ‘Husband or wife.’

Egale Canada, the national organization which advances equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-identified people in Canada, is recommending that same-sex married couples list their relationship as ‘Husband or wife’ rather than ‘Other.’ According to Statistics Canada, either response will be captured correctly as a married same-sex couple. In addition, Egale is calling on all concerned Canadians to add a comment on Page 6 of the questionnaire, such as ‘Same-Sex couples deserve equal treatment.’

Please take further action to make express your support for same-sex couples. Please visit, and see how easy it is to make your voice heard.


Apparently the folks running the census missed the debate last year where same-sex marriage became the law of the land.


Conservative Chimera

by alec on May 17, 2005

chi·me·ra also chi·mae·ra  (k-mîr, k-) n.

  1. An organism, organ, or part consisting of two or more tissues of different genetic composition, produced as a result of organ transplant, grafting, or genetic engineering.
  2. A substance, such as an antibody, created from the proteins or genes or two different species.
  3. An individual who has received a transplant of genetically and immunologically different tissue.
  4. A fanciful mental illusion or fabrication.

I’ve been ruminating on Belinda Stronach’s defection all day.  Some of the outcomes are pretty clear:

  1. The Martin government lives another day.
  2. Gomery moves forward.
  3. The Conservative "breakthrough" in Ontario loses momentum.

The Conservatives have spun this as simple ambition.  Ms. Stronach will do anything to further her career, and the Conservative Party didn’t have the room for her to fulfill her ambitions.  To be sure,  there’s an element of that to her decision.  Paul Martin is no spring chicken.  A tasty cabinet posting makes a nice launch pad for a run at the leadership of the Liberal Party, and ultimately Prime Minister.

The Liberal’s spin her decision as a repudiation of the Conservative agenda.  There’s something in that as well.  Stronach has clearly come out on the side of the Liberals on many issues, has made no secret of her support for the budget, and has made it clear that the signal to noise ratio in Parliament is way too low.

For now, the real impact is that the Conservatives are back to being painted as a party of angry white guys from the west – Republican Party North.  And that is the biggest tragedy of all. 

The problem is this — parachuting candidates supporting western issues into Ontario ridings doesn’t magically make those same issues into National issues. Scrappy young Pierre Poilievre, who represents my riding, is a great example of one of these drop-in candidates.  I get regular missives in the mail from him in support of dismantling the gun registry, and opposing same sex marriage.  He claims that this is what his constituents want.  What complete and utter bullshit! I live in Manotick, a wealthy, urban, Ontario riding filled with high tech workers.  By and large, people here don’t care about the gun registry, and don’t think it’s an issue that gay people want to get married.  We would like better government, smarter use of our tax dollars, and policies that encourage entrepreneurship.  We would like health care and the military fixed.  We voted Pierre in just to get the Liberals out.  He won’t last long if he can’t figure that out.

It’s a failure of leadership on Stephen Harper’s part.  Moderate Conservatives have left the party, the redneck wing has taken over, and nobody has their feet on the ground, listening to constituents. 

Whichever of the definitions you choose, the renewal of the Conservative Party truly is a chimera.

As for you Belinda, I admire someone with the guts to figure out what they want, and then go get it.  Run for Prime Minister.  I’ll vote for you, no matter what the party.

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US Interest Groups Attempt to Influence Canadian Election

February 7, 2005

A report in the Ottawa Citizen this morning claims that gay marriage opponents in the United States are funnelling massive dollars into Canada. It’s illegal for Canadian lobbyists (or any foreign lobbyist, for that matter) to spend money to influence the vote in the US, but it’s not illegal in our country for US lobbyists to spend […]

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Why do I care?

January 26, 2005

One of my employees gave me a gentle prod the other day. He knows that I have strong opinions on the same sex marriage debate, and he commented that he found it funny that a straight guy would care so passionately about gay and lesbian rights. Purely and simply I care about rights, which is […]

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Writing to Pierre

December 11, 2004

I wrote to Pierre Poilievre, MP for Nepean-Carleton today on the topic of same sex marriage.  Here is the email I sent him. — Pierre, I am writing today to let you know my opinion on the same sex marriage issue.  I believe that this is one of the most important tests of the Charter […]

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Straight people should get passionate about Gay Marriage

December 9, 2004

I was driving back from the chiropractor this afternoon, and listening to the debate on gay marriage that was raging back and forth on that Ottawa bastion of open-mindedness, CFRA Talk Radio. Today, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the government’s proposed law changing the definition of marriage was, in fact, constitutional.  Talk about a non-event.  […]

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Colby Cosh on the Libertarian Harper

June 29, 2004

Cosh had a great piece on Harper’s libertarian tendencies.  Wish I’d read it yesterday, because I would have forwarded it to a lot of people I know. I was asked recently what my own political leanings are, because as many people know, I vote Conservative.  Why? Well, the Conservative Party is probably the best of […]

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Rosie O’Donnell to Marry

February 26, 2004

According to this CNN report, Rosie O’Donnell is going to San Francisco to marry her long time girlfriend.  Her reason for doing so is quite interesting. O’Donnell said she decided to marry Carpenter, a former dancer and marketing director at Nickelodeon, during her recent trial in New York over the now-defunct Rosie magazine. "We applied […]

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Joho on Gay Marriage

February 17, 2004

Joho published a piece on gay marriage this morning.  I’ve cut the beginning out and reproduced it here.  I also recommend reading the Bob Herbert piece that he references. Are we Sodom?. Bob Herbert’s column today in the NY Times "Bliss and Bigotry" made me cry. It’s a good column, but it did not provoke […]

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Cosh on Spencer

November 29, 2003

A few more links on the Larry Spencer affair, mostly responding to Colby Cosh’s Friday post.  Casting the first stone? points out that Spencer is a member of parliament, not some old guy holding court at the barber shop.  In this case, the barber’s chair happened to be attached to a microphone.  That’s the upside of […]

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